Back to school in style

Shawn Miller, 7, of Gardnerville, plays in a Levi Jean rack at Mervyn's during the store's ChildSpree event Saturday.

Shawn Miller, 7, of Gardnerville, plays in a Levi Jean rack at Mervyn's during the store's ChildSpree event Saturday.

When you're 5 new underwear -- even ones with the Hulk and Spiderman -- aren't as interesting as the twig that becomes the magic wand.

And that's how it was for Joshua Acree who hopped between planters casting levitation spells like Harry Potter despite being weighed down with a backpack filled with his new school clothes.

Ray Rickard, who helped Joshua shop, was impressed with what they found during Saturday's early morning shopping spree at Mervyn's.

"He was a good shopper," Ray Rickard said. "He got two shirts, two pair of pants and some tennis shoes -- ones he can put on himself because they're slip ons."

Rickard joined nearly 100 others before the store's opening as part of the annual ChildSpree shopping event sponsored by Mervyn's and Carson City Kiwanis.

Donations totaling $8,000 were collected from Mervyn's, Kiwanis and the Harley Davidson Financial Corp. allowing shoppers to spend $100 each on 80 low-income children from around the area.

Volunteer shoppers came from the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Attorney General's Office, Harley Davidson credit, the Sierra Nevada Active 20-30 Club No., 730 from Douglas County, St. Peter's Episcopal Church and even from ChildSpree chairwoman Rita Carman's yoga class.

"I hit everybody up to volunteer," Carman said.

"There is no shortage of kids. We could do 200 if we had the money. Nobody else does this for back to school. It gets the kids off on the right track, makes them feel good about school."

In addition to new shirts, pants, socks, and underwear each child took home a new pair of shoes, a backpack with school supplies and a belly full of breakfast donated by McDonald's.

Shelby Epley, 5, had magic shoes said her shopper Patty Little. "They make her run fast and jump high." The pink and purple Sketchers, with no laces, were already on her feet.

"We were the first ones done'" Little said. "And we were only over by 20 cents."

Shelby said she was headed home "to try on all my new clothes."

Sean Miller, 7, munched his breakfast on the curb with his shopper Jarrod Rickard.

Jarrod is 25 and headed to law school in Las Vegas, but volunteered with his dad, Ray, and mother, Charmaine.

Rickard and Sean found two shirts that came with radios.

"We saw another kid with the radios so we went and sought them out," Jarrod said.

"Mom recruited me. She thought it might be a good way to get revenge on me because I was so picky when I was little. I made them bring me 40 pairs of pants to try on."

His father, Ray confirmed the story, saying that after his son turned 12 he was given an allowance and bought his own clothes. We took him 20 pairs of pants, in this store, and he didn't like any of them."

Jarrod said Sean was much better. "He liked the first pair."

Parents may sign up for the event through the Salvation Army. Joshua's mom, Christina Acree, said the program was "wonderful for us low-income parents. I'm a single parent."

Though Acree was appreciative of the pants, shoes and socks, she was more excited to see Joshua thrilled that he got spells for his wand, and that he found another smaller wand for his little brother Matthew who is 2.


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